Iranians say missiles out of negotiations, poll shows

A majority of Iranians voiced overwhelming opposition toward any new talks regarding the country's weapons, according to a new poll.

Iran PressAmerica: According to News Week, as Biden's administration weighs including restrictions on Iran's massive missile arsenal as part of a larger agreement, however, Iranians voiced overwhelming opposition toward any new talks regarding the country's weapons.

The survey was conducted jointly over the past month by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Toronto-based IranPoll. Results were released this week, and among the notable findings was the existence of one area in which citizens of Iran and the US appeared to agree.

In Iran, a slim majority (51%) approve of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or nuclear deal signed by Iran, the US, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom in 2015. In the US, a majority (57%) also supported the JCPOA, but respondents were sharply partisan, with 74% of Democrats, 56% of Independents, and just 39% of Republicans expressing approval of the deal.

At the time of the signing, more than three-quarters of Iranians backed the accord, but numbers steadily declined with time, especially after former President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and implemented severe sanctions, which had been eliminated under the agreement.

The last time more Iranians approved of the deal than disapproved was December 2018, when backing also hit 51%.

But the fate of the deal remains uncertain despite Biden's campaign promise to reenter it.

"We are ready to pursue a joint return to compliance with the JCPOA," US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday.

A step-by-step process in which Tehran and Washington both gradually fulfill respective nuclear deal commitments is mostly unpopular in Iran, however, with 51% disapproving and 47% approving. More satisfactory is a simultaneous return with which 55% agree and 44% disagree, while two-thirds oppose Iran entering after the International Atomic Energy Agency verified Iran's compliance at initial cap levels.

By far the most popular option is the US first reentering the agreement it abandoned nearly three years ago, an approach winning 88% approval.

Also unpopular among Iranians was the prospect of new negotiations that would put Iran's missile program, the largest and most advanced in the Middle East, on the table. 

The joint Chicago Council on Global Affairs and IranPoll survey found that 62% believed "the Iranian government should be unwilling to negotiate a new separate agreement about its missile program."


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